IHP news 474: Research

By on June 15, 2018

Global social policy – From free market to social policies? Mapping regulatory cooperation in education and health in MERCOSUR

A Bianculli; http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1468018118780085

Regional cooperation has been an enduring feature of Latin American politics for more than half a century. With the turn of the century, regional organizations moved beyond traditional free trade issues to embrace cooperation in broader social policy areas. A recent literature relates this change to the left turn in the region, especially in South America. Yet, in practice, relevant differences persist in terms of how social policy is regulated at the regional level. This article looks precisely into this variation. In essence, it studies regulatory cooperation in the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and thus offers a comparative assessment of the institutions and policy instruments devised in two social areas: education and health. Using an original dataset on the documents passed by MERCOSUR between 1991 and 2016, the findings provide evidence that the definition of the policy problem matters as this affects the institutional mechanisms and the policy instruments and strategies devised to address them. In this context, different policy problem definitions seem to account for two distinct emerging patterns of social regulatory cooperation in the Southern Cone.”

BMC Health Services – Assessing out-of-pocket expenditures for primary health care: how responsive is the Democratic Republic of Congo health system to providing financial risk protection?

S Laokri et al; https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-018-3211-x

The goal of universal health coverage is challenging for chronically under-resourced health systems. Although household out-of-pocket payments are the most important source of health financing in low-income countries, relatively little is known about the drivers of primary health care expenditure and the predictability of the burden associated with high fee-for-service payments. This study describes out-of-pocket health expenditure and investigates demand- and supply-side drivers of excessive costs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a central African country in the midst of a process of reforming its health financing system towards universal health coverage….”

International Journal of Health Services –  The Definition of Health: Towards New Perspectives

Fabio Leonard; http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0020731418782653

The definition of health is not just a theoretical issue, because it has many implications for practice, policy, and health services. The current definition of health, formulated by the WHO, is no longer adequate for dealing with the new challenges in health care systems. Despite many attempts to replace it, no alternative definition has reached a wide level of consensus. Assuming an epistemological perspective, the need for a unique definition has to be rejected in favor of a plural approach in which cannot exist the best definition of health but many different definitions, more or less useful depending on the scope of application. Nevertheless, it should be noted that not all potential definitions of health are fit to pursue clinical scientific goals. Based on recent scientific debate, one can maintain that each definition of health should have at least 9 features to work well within the clinical scientific field. Moving from this perspective, a new definition has been developed for pursuing health, especially in the fields of chronic patients and older people.”

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